The scoop on poop

I took a course once about personal effectiveness and one of the mantras in it was ‘A place for everything and everything in its place.’   The same holds true when cleaning up after our dogs.

Back in July, I posted my column about the public relations nightmare of unscooped poop.   This column is about the disposal methods that are and are not acceptable for your dog’s poo.

The nasty things in dog poop

A dog’s poop can transmit bacteria like salmonella (and some studies show that there is an increased risk of this when the dog is fed a raw diet).  Parasites like tapeworm, hookworm and roundworms can also live in the feces and exist in the soil for a long time.  Other diseases like distemper or parvovirus can be transmitted through exposure to feces from an infected dog.

Don’t compost or bury

Therefore, adding dog poop to your household compost is not recommended.   The temperature in the compost heap is unlikely to reach a high enough temperature and you can end up transmitting the bugs to you and your family by handling the compost or adding it to the vegetable garden.  Yuck!

Simply burying the poop doesn’t help either.  You are basically allowing any of the bacteria and other nasties to live in the soil environment.

Local authorities with kerbside recycling programmes also ask that you don’t add dog poop to your ‘green’ (garden waste/organics) bin.  This is a public health issue since most materials from organic collections are composted and then re-distributed back to communities as compost for landscaping and gardens.

Don’t place it in the storm sewer

Some owners think it is okay to place poo in the gutter or storm sewer.  It isn’t.  Stormwater drains are directed to open water systems in the natural environment.  The poo will get washed into local streams and rivers and it is just another way of potentially contaminating the environment.

The better options

  • One of the popular methods of cleaning up after your dog is to scoop it up in a plastic bag and dump it in the rubbish.  The advantages with this method are that plastic bags are often freely available and it is a way of recycling the bag for another use.  This method prevents water pollution and can help control the spread of the nasty bugs.  However, plastic doesn’t decompose easily and many owners don’t want to add to the landfill problems in their area.
  • This leads us to biodegradable bags like Flush Puppy bags.  These bags can be safely disposed of in the rubbish or you can flush them down the toilet as long as you are connected to a public sewer system.  For homes on private septic systems, this isn’t recommended because this is an increased load that can overwhelm your disposal system.
  • If bags are not your thing, you can carry a shovel or other type of pooper scooper and wrap the poop in newspaper.  Disposal in the rubbish is okay and both the newspaper and poop will degrade.
  • If you really want to get fancy, you can buy your own composter for dog poop.  One brand is the Doggy Dooley.  This bin is dug into the ground and then special enzymes are added to help break down the waste.

The Doggy Dooley pet waste composter

  • Special bins for worm composting may also work on dog poop.  It is best to contact local services in your area about the types of worms available and the types of bins available for this.

Please put poop in its proper place by disposing of your dog’s poo appropriately.

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3 responses to “The scoop on poop

  1. Pingback: Picking up is important | DoggyMom.com

  2. Pingback: A different way to encourage owners to scoop | DoggyMom.com

  3. Pingback: Canine companions and the lure of inattentively pooping in public | DoggyMom.com

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